Taken 3 Takes Over Top of the Box Office
Twentieth Century Fox’s Taken 3 led the box office with ease last weekend with a $39.20 million debut. The third installment of the Liam Neeson led franchise outpaced pre-release expectations; marking the third time that the Taken franchise has exceeded expectations. Taken 3 hadn’t been expected to open anywhere near as strong as 2012’s Taken 2, but instead opened a reasonable 21 percent below the $49.51 million debut of Taken 2. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Taken 3 delivered the third largest opening weekend ever for the month of January, behind only last year’s Ride Along and 2008’s Cloverfield. The film’s debut was especially impressive given that so many holdovers came back down to earth last weekend; due in part to the end of the holiday season and due in part to the strong performance of Taken 3. It is possible that Taken 3 could take a significant hit next weekend from the nationwide expansion of Warner Bros. Pictures’ highly anticipated American Sniper.
Paramount Pictures’ Selma placed in a distant second with $11.31 million. While Taken 3 outpaced expectations last weekend, Selma debuted below expectations, which were ultimately inflated due in part to the film’s exceptional critical reviews and a larger than originally anticipated location count last weekend. While the Ava DuVernay directed awards season hopeful didn’t light the box office on fire last weekend, the film could still hold up extremely well going forward thanks in part to strong word of mouth and continued awards season buzz. It is also very possible that many initial moviegoers are waiting until the Martin Luher King holiday weekend this coming weekend to see the film. With that said, that Selma debuted 54 percent below the $24.64 million start of 2013’s Lee Daniels’ The Butler is certainly underwhelming. Selma has grossed $13.59 million to date. It should be noted that the reported production budget for Selma was a modest $20 million.
Holdovers occupied positions three through six last weekend with the four films fairly bunched together with one another. Disney Entertainment’s Into the Woods claimed third with $9.55 million. The Rob Marshall directed musical featuring Meryl Streep was down a significant 49 percent. Last weekend’s hold was lackluster given that the film expanded into an additional 295 locations. Into the Woods surpassed the $100 million mark last weekend and has grossed $105.08 million in 18 days.
Warner Bros.’ The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies followed closely behind in fourth place with $9.38 million. The third installment of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy was down a sharp 57 percent from the previous weekend. The Battle of the Five Armies has grossed $236.46 million through 26 days of release and is now running just 2 percent ahead of the $231.93 million 26-day gross of 2012’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Unbroken rounded out the weekend’s top five with $8.17 million. The Angelina Jolie directed war drama from Universal Pictures fell 55 percent from the previous weekend. Like Into the Woods, Unbroken also surpassed the $100 million domestic milestone last weekend. Unbroken continues to exceed expectations with $101.40 million in 18 days.
The Imitation Game placed in sixth with $7.21 million. The awards season hopeful from The Weinstein Co. held up much better than other films in the marketplace last weekend, as it was down just 7 percent. However, the film did expand into an additional 812 locations last weekend, so its location average did see significant slowing over the frame. The Imitation Game surpassed the $40 million mark last weekend and has grossed a healthy $40.43 million to date.
|This Week||Last Week||Movie||Weekend Gross||Cumulative Gross||Weeks|
|3||2||Into the Woods||$9.55M||$105.08M||3|
|4||1||The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies||$9.38M||$236.46M||4|
|6||7||The Imitation Game||$7.21M||$40.43M||7|
|7||5||Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb||$6.72M||$99.54M||4|
|9||4||The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death||$4.65M||$22.16M||2|
|10||8||The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1||$3.77M||$329.54M||8|
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.